Transsexuality at Work

By: Yilka M. García Rivera

On March 6 over 25 people attended the panel “Sexualidades Queer y Aparatos Estatales” (Queer Sexualities and State Aparatuses) at 3:30 p.m. at the Celis building in The Univesity of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez.  Two students from the University of Puerto Rico talked about their investigations about transsexuality.

Antonio Ramos, University of Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras student, and Nivializ Toro, University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez student, participated in the V Coloquio del Otro La’o: Perspectivas sobre Sexualidades “Queer”. This event has different kinds of activities that are related to the LGBTT community.


One of the novels used for the investigation of Nivializ Toro

Ramos and Toro investigated transsexuality in relation to work. Ramos emphasized transsexual behavior in police women and the theories made by different people who studied this in the U.S. Toro, on the other hand, used a novel where the occupation was prostitution by people transgender people.

Ramos titled his investigation “Transexualidad en la mujer policía” (Transsexuality in police women). He emphasized on the theories and studies made in the United States about the transsexuality or the role played by the women in the police. He also said that women acquire male attributes so they can be respected and not appear weak.

Toro titled her investigation “Prostitución en Puerto Rico, entre esclavas y libertas: Sirena Selena, Isabel Luberza Oppenheimer y el discurso periodístico sobre los y las prostitutas” (Prostitution in Puerto Rico, between slaves and freed women: Sirena Selena, Isabel Luberza Oppenheimer and the journalistic discourse about prostituion).She explained how transsexuality is seen through the novel: “Sirena Selena Vestida de Pena” and “Nuestra Señora de la Noche.”

Toro emphasized the novel “Sirena Selena Vestida de Pena” and explained how the characters present transsexuality– most of them are men. Also she used the newspaper El Nuevo Día for research on the theme but she discovered that the titles gave her more information than the same news.

Joel Albarrán, a first year chemical engineering UPRM student who attended the panel was glad he did.  “It is the first time I attend this activity, I just wanted to know what “queer” meant and how it was seen through the Police Department in Puerto Rico.”

Albarrán believes that these kinds of activities “can help us improve socially and prevent the bullying between ’Queer‘people and those who are not.”


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